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Chiranuch Premchaiporn may spend decades of her life in a Bangkok prison because she failed to remove anti-monarchy comments made by anonymous posters on the Prachatai website. The case, which is the first to use the 2007 Computer Crimes Act to hold a webmaster responsible for content, poses one of the biggest tests ever for Internet freedom in Thailand.
As Facebook, Twitter and other websites increase the space for political dissent around the globe, governments have sought new legal remedies to keep them in check. Free speech advocacy group Reporters Without Borders last year deemed Thailand "under surveillance" to join 12 Enemies of the Internet, including Egypt, Burma, North Korea and China. Overall, the government took down 44,000 web addresses in 2010, including Prachatai, mostly for publishing anti-royal content, according to Thailand's iLaw Project.
What exactly is allowed under the Computer Crimes Act? How does the law compare with similar ones around the world? What consequences will Chiranuch's case have for free speech in Thailand?
To discuss these pivotal issues, we welcome a panel of media law experts. The Committee to Protect Journalists, a US-based media freedom group, will also present 2010 Attacks on the Press, an annual worldwide survey.
- Danny O'Brien
is CPJ's Internet Advocacy Coordinator. He has spent
over 20 years documenting and explaining the growth of the Internet and new media and its effect on free expression and society. He has written articles for Wired, New Scientist, The Guardian, and TV shows for the BBC. Prior to joining CPJ last year, O'Brien was International activist for the original Internet freedom organization, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and was a founder of the British pressure group, the Open Rights Group. He is based in San Francisco.
- Supinya Klangnarong
is a Thai media rights advocate and current vice-chair of the Campaign for Popular Media Reform (CPMR). She is noted for her long-running advocacy of media reform, and memorably the target of a lawsuit by Shin Corp asking for 400 million Baht in damages over comments she made in a 2003 interview â€' charges on which she was acquitted in a resounding personal vindication in 2006.
- Sinfah Tunsarawuth
is the director of the Thai Media Law & Policy Center, a group sponsored by the Press Council of Thailand, the Thai Journalists Association and other local media groups. He is an independent media lawyer and journalist who wrote an analysis of the Computer Crimes Act last year for the Centre for Law and Democracy, a Canada-based international human rights NGO.
Members: No cover charge, buffet dinner is 350 baht
Non-members: 300 baht cover charge without buffet dinner or 650 baht for buffet dinner including cover charge
Reservations: To ensure sufficient food for the buffet, we would greatly appreciate your making a buffet reservation at least one day before the program if you plan to join us for the dinner. (No penalty for cancellation if last minute conflicts arise.) Please also note that tables/seats will be reserved only for those with advance buffet bookings. To reserve, please call 02-652-0580-1 or click here to send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Foreign Correspondents' Club of
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Patumwan, Bangkok 10330
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